Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Remastered Tournament's Remastered Results

Remember from before the Final Four, when I groused about how the NCAA Tournament doesn't really reward the top regular season teams? It was definitely borne out this year, when Connecticut, a team that finished 9th in conference, ended up winning the national title over a team that ended up second. I don't REALLY have a problem with a team that doesn't win their conference winning the national title, I have a problem with the path for those teams being just as easy as the teams that had dominant regular seasons.
Anyways, I created the tournament and ran it to completion, and there were some surprises and some that weren't as terribly surprising. The unsurprising: The Final Four of the primary, regular season champion tournament was Kansas vs Florida and Ohio State vs BYU, 4 of the top 5 seeds. One of the Final Four ended up in the Final Four in the secondary tournament as well, as Kansas squared off against Notre Dame, Kentucky and Louisville. No real major upsets getting all the way through, though Louisville (who lost to Morehead State in the real tournament in round one) was the 17th rated team in the RPI and was 4th team in the Big East. Naturally, they ended up winning the secondary tournament to face Ohio State, the eventual champions of the primary.
The path to get there shows me that what happened was exactly what I wanted to happen. Ohio State definitely had the easier path, iwth victories over Bethune Cookman, Belmont, Coastal Carolina, BYU and Kansas. Louisville had a longer and perhaps more challenging path, with victories against Iona, Oakland, Alabama, Belmont, Purdue, Kentucky, and Kansas. That is an absolutely grueling path, and if they would beat Ohio State, you would be hard pressed to argue that they didn't earn the national championship.
Of course, they did. Much to my surprise, it was the Louisville Cardinals who ended up winning the top prize in my remastered tournament. I like this idea, and whether you like it or not, I'm going to try it again next year.

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